The designer slipped back to the Seventies with a lava lamp colors, thick swirls and sine waves — fruits of a collaboration with the estate of Verner Panton, the Danish architect and designer who helped define an era.
Even those who’ve never heard of Panton can picture his work: The curving, bright molded plastic chairs, the blow-up ones and the styles with the big heart-shaped backs. Panton was also the father of those unmistakable mushroom lamps, working a color palette that ranged from feisty red to hot orange to cool blue and violet.
The result was a clean, spare collection — which at times got repetitive on the runway — that took in colors ranging from midsummer sunset and Campari orange to marine blue, hot yellow and bright green. Van Noten worked those shades into Panton’s undulating patterns on everything from swimming trunks to tailored suits with cropped trousers.
He also splashed those primary hues across crinkly, cellophane-like anoraks, while those same groovy patterns popped on a leather backpack that looked as if it was covered in flames and slip-on sneakers.
There were some monochrome looks, too — to cleanse the palate — as in a textured check suit in a faded shade of corn and a lineup of delicately rumpled cotton overcoats in tangerine or dark blue.
Van Noten was animated after the show, talking about the special permission he had to “size up and size down” Panton’s signature patterns and discussing the late designer’s ability to create different moods with color.
At the same time, Van Noten, who sold a majority stake in his company to Puig earlier this month, didn’t allow himself to get lost in that Seventies whirl. His silhouettes stayed sharp and uncomplicated — which was all part of the master plan: “I wanted to give it an elegance and simplicity,” he said.